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Day 55: The Power of the Schedule

When I was young, maybe 11 years old, I read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
 I would like to read it again.  But after all these years, what made a profound impact on my life was his daily schedule.

When I feel overwhelmed with the business of my life, I always go back to making a daily, hourly schedule.

Here is an image of Benjamin's Franklin Schedule. 






I have kept lists all my life. But in revisiting his schedule, what pops out at me are the two questions he asks of himself. In the morning:  "What good shall I do this day?" In the evening, "What good have I done today?"

I love this.  It reminds me of a prayer technique I learned.  At the SEEL retreat a few years back.  SEEL stands for "Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life" 
"St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, developed his Spiritual Exercises so that people could retreat for 30 days of prayer and silence to grow in their relationship with God and learn to listen for the voice of the Spirit in their lives. Eventually he also adapted these Exercises for people who could not, for various reasons, go away for 30 days" (
http://seelportland.org/what-are-the-exercises/)

Part of our prayer process was to add a daily "examen" at the end of our day.  "A great way to pray is to look for God's presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God's presence and to discern his direction for us." (http://loyolapress.com/how-can-i-pray-try-the-daily-examen.htm)

It was a powerful experience. And I have continued the examen as part of my daily prayer. But I think I will start to begin each day, like Benjamin Franklin asking "What good shall I do this day?"

Today I woke up and did a nice workout before I went to church. We were having family over for dinner, so I came home and helped my daughter clean and prepare the meal.  Another sweltering hot day here in Portland, so we did crock pot salsa chicken for tacos.

We had several hours before my parents arrived, so I sat down to look at my upcoming week. It is the beginning of summer term, so I get busy again.

My stomach started to clench.

But then I decided to put it into perspective. I set up my whole summer schedule, including workouts, students, rehearsals, piano practice, bus schedules and sleep schedule. I even color-coded it! I did it on Google Calendar.  I used to do my schedules in a day planner. Remember those? Problem was, if I ever misplaced my day planner, I also misplaced my brains! 

Luckily, my schedule is quite repetitive.  But there is room for flexibility.  But having a plan helps me to not waste time, to feel aimless or downtrodden. I am prone to these things. Maybe because I am creative.  Maybe because I am a musician. Or maybe because depression runs in the family. Lol.

I will need to print a hard copy of my schedule though.  Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but if a terrorist really wanted to paralyze us - he would disable our internet.  And if Google Calendar goes away, so do my brains!

Our printer hardly ever works, so I'll make a hard copy of my schedule at the library this week.

I love the library!  Especially on these hot summer days.  Their A/C rocks!

Anyway. I do feel quite accomplished.

What good did I do today?  I made a workable schedule!

Tomorrow is weight and measurements day.  But I am not going to sweat it.  I am in it for the journey.  

Happy Sunday! :)



The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. - See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.9HG33dKh.dpuf

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